Read His Words Before Ours!
For the sake of transparency, I need you to know that I have wrestled with this post for a while. I love to worship and have served in worship for years, but when posed the question, “Why does God ask us to worship?” the simple and direct answer eluded me. I am rarely at a loss for words, and this unusual turn of events left me somewhat frustrated with myself. I could list dozens, perhaps hundreds of reasons we should and do worship, but none of them carried the resounding ring of His Truth.
I found myself praying, “Lord, You are absolutely worthy of our praise. You are our Healer, our Savior. Perfect love and our only Hope. You are the air we breathe, the songs we sing. We worship because we are made to do so. You are the only one worthy of our attentions, and You deserve every one of them…but why DO You want us to worship You? You don’t need anything from us – you are GOD. I know You want us to be open and transparent before You, that You covet our hearts, and that You inhabit our praises… but if You had to squish all the facets of why You want us to worship You into 700 words or less, what would You say?”
Searching for inspiration and direction, I turned to the book of Hosea. Nestled in chapter six, between verses five and seven, I found this:
“I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know Me more than I want burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6 NLT)
Lord, why do You want us to worship You?
I want you to know Me.
so you won’t be sad anymore.
so you won’t have any more stress.
so you won’t have any more anxious moments.
so your struggle will disappear.
so your grief will dissipate.
so you won’t experience pain.
so you will not be so focused on yourself.
Lord, why do You want us to worship You?
I want you to KNOW Me.
He doesn’t want us to worship Him because worshiping Him will ensure that things won’t be hard or that we won’t have hurts, pains, sadness, loss, heartache, illness, grief, fear or fill-in-your-blank.
God wants us to worship Him because He wants us to spend time with Him.
To really know Him, to know His nature and His heart.
When we pause everything else,
set aside our schedules,
and clear space for Him we are granted the opportunity to build relationship with Him.
To see His heart for us and for others.
To simply be in His Presence and allow Holy Spirit room and time to work in us.
By assuming this humble posture and taking the steps toward Him we are putting Him at the forefront of our minds and hearts and declaring that He is Who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do.
As we enter into this intimacy with Him and set our eyes on Him for the sake of knowing Him, we begin to be transformed into His likeness and spiritual strongholds are broken. This act, worship, ushers in spiritual change and He shifts the very atmosphere as our reality begins to reflect His reality.
This week as we go about our daily lives, I would encourage each of us to intentionally worship Him in new ways. Perhaps you usually worship through song or instrument. This week, try setting pen to paper and journaling your worship of Him. Perhaps you usually draw or sketch during your time of worship. This week, why not try worshiping Him by speaking your worship aloud.
You are our Creator, our Healer and our help in times of trouble.
Immanuel, God with us.
You know the innermost workings of our hearts and you see what man cannot. Help us to worship You with the intention of knowing You. Show us how to commune with You in holy and heightened ways. Teach us how to get out of our own way and to simply approach You with transparency and vulnerability. We want to know You, we want to know Your heart.
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